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22 Oct 2013

Creating a Digital Press Kit For Your Indie Game

Yesterday, I wrote an article discussing how to write a press release ‘with pizazz,’ and hinted that I would be writing an article today regarding how to create a functional (yet digital) press kit. It seems there is just as much mystery surrounding how to create a great press kit as there is writing a functional press release, so today; let’s clear up a mystery once more, shall we?

Putting together a press kit is all about communication. When I am given a press kit, I want to find everything I need to know about the game – the description, screenshots, the trailer, a few gameplay videos, etc. When I close the .zip file containing the files of the press kit, I want to have such a solid understanding of what I found inside of the press kit that I want to be able to write an article discussing what the game is about. This should always be your goal, and by creating a press kit that easily communicates exactly what is special about your game, the higher the chances members of the press will cover your game, simply because it will be easy for them to do so.

So how do you do it? Read more to find out.

 

Using visuals

Including visuals in your press kit accomplishes two things: not only does it allow members of the press to be able to see what your game is all about, but it also provides them with images they can use in their previews, articles, etc. when they want to write about their game. There’s nothing more time consuming than trying to find images of a game you are trying to cover simply because the developer that wants coverage didn’t consider sending me images of their game via a press kit to me. The press truly does not have time to ‘hunt’ for images of your game, so do the hard work for them and include high-quality, interesting images about your game, while ensuring that the included images detail what the game is truly about.

In addition, include different screenshots for each version of your game. For instance, if you have a Lite version of your game, include images taken from the Lite version in your press kit. If you have both Android and iOS versions, again, include images for each version.

You will also want to separate the images associated with each version of your game into separate folders inside the image folder of your press kit. Moreover, you want to include different sized images for each version as well (and again, you want to create separate folders for each size as well). Here is an example as to how to organize the images of your press kit:

 

  • Press Kit (Main folder)

  • Images
  • iOS Screenshots – Lite Version
    • Small images
    • Medium images
    • Large images
  • iOS Screenshots – Premium Version
    • Small images
    • Medium images
    • Large images
  • Android Screenshots – Lite Version
    • Small images
    • Medium images
    • Large images
  • Android Screenshots-Premium Version
    • Small images
    • Medium images
    • Large images

And so on. You get the idea. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but if you categorize your images for the press in a way that they can easily access them, they will be grateful that you took the time to organize your images for them.

As for videos? Use the same method above to categorize gameplay videos, trailers, etc. in your press kit.

 

Important announcements

This is where you must include press releases, patch information, etc. Basically, any announcements that are upcoming or have been announced recently need to be included in this section of your press release, as it will allow the press to not only detail exactly what the status of your game currently is, but where your game is headed. Likewise, this also tells the press that you are dedicated to constantly improving your game (and of course, you should be), and by providing these pieces of information, the press is going to have a better understanding as to not only what your game is about, but what players can expect down the road. Very important stuff.

And if you have no idea how to write a compelling press release? Yesterday’s post details exactly how to write a functional press release and what needs to be included inside it.

 

Include contact information

It is vital that you include multiple ways for the press to contact you. Often, developers have included this information inside of a .doc file, detailing where people can follow them via Twitter, Facebook, multiple email addresses, and contact numbers. Personally, I prefer to have all of this information inside one file at the root of the press kit, as it is easy for me to find it rather than having to search through press releases trying to find the information. If you want to make it easy on the press to contact you, this is the way to do it.

 

Provide the press with the option to download

Sure, it’s a good idea to have your press kit in a .zip file on your computer ready to email to various members of the press, but what if a member of the press stumbles across your game and wants to take a closer look at the game? Then you need to provide them with the ability to download the press kit from your website without having to ask you for a press kit.

Of course, the easiest thing to do is to upload your press kit to Dropbox or Google Drive and provide the link for people to download the file on your website. Once the link is on your website, anyone that clicks the link will instantly download the .zip file of your press kit.

And if you want to track how many people have downloaded your press kit? Sign up for a Bit.ly account, create a ‘bit.ly’ address out of the download link of your press kit, and place the bit.ly address onto your website instead of the full download link. By doing this, you can log into your Bit.ly account and keep track of how many people have clicked the link, thus downloaded the file.

 

A strong press kit is invaluable

And it accomplishes many things: it provides information the press is going to need to learn more about your game, places important information in an easy-to-find location, and shows the press that you truly care about the success of your game. Additionally, you are making the hard work of the press easier on them, and take it from a member of the press: we appreciate this, and it makes us more willing to cover your game. In an industry in which so many developers are clamoring for the top, a functional press kit will set you above many of your fellow developers. If you know how to create a press kit, you get the attention of the press, and in this industry, attention is vital to an indie developer’s success.

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